Document Type

Student Presentation

Presentation Date


Faculty Sponsor

Laurel Traynowicz


The sporting world continues to expand, as evidenced by growing legions of fans (Van Schaik, 2012). Those who follow professional hockey and attend its games tend to have a higher annual income than fans of other professional sports (Thompson, 2014), and are typically thought of as primarily male (Esmonde et al., 2015). The stereotype of the male hockey fan and its proliferation by the media create struggles for women as they become or remain fans (Crawford et al, 2004; MacDonald, 2014). Yet women are showing up for professional hockey games more than ever. The current study investigated the nature of the female hockey fan. Areas studied include motivation for being a fan, inclusion/exclusion, marketing, merchandising and the idea of “fan first.” Evidence supporting the importance of focusing on all fans--not just men--is clear, and professional hockey has an opportunity to both reverse the male-dominant profile of its fans and capitalize on the burgeoning female hockey fan market. Interview research--both formal and informal--was conducted at local professional hockey games during the 2015-16 season. Results point to how female hockey fans consider themselves, how they prefer to be treated by the sport industry as well as the media, and what it will take for their numbers and satisfaction to increase.